The Predator Review: A Mediocre Hunt
Updated: Sep 25
In 1987 the movie world was changed with the sci-fi action film Predator. What started off as an Arnold Schwarzenegger film turned into a major film franchise that has lurked into theaters on multiple occasions. It has been some time since the Predator has stalked its prey on the silver screen but it seems 2018 was a better time than any for this series to return with its latest installment-The Predator. Directed by Shane Black The Predator sought to bring new life into the series with a sequel of Predator as well as Predator 2. However The Predator has not been met the warmest of receptions as many critics have altogether panned the movie for various reasons. This kind of reaction may be enough to turn anyone away, but in this case of this Film Adventurer I see it as an invitation. So after watching this new installment I can see why many have shunned The Predator, but I would not say that this new film has no merit to it.
The story of The Predator centers on Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) who gets caught in the middle of an intergalactic manhunt as a Predator comes to Earth who is being stalked by another, and more menacing, hunter. The plot to The Predator had its share of problems but there were elements to this action pack tale that I found beneficial. The ideas presented in this sequel were interesting as it brought new factors into the mythos for the series. In many ways the story of the Fugitive Predator was the most intriguing aspect to this plot, and I would loved to have seen this point expanded upon. However what held these elements back was the plot’s execution. The story’s narrative could be sporadic, particularly at the the beginning, which made details within the story feel abrupt. Granted this issue diminished as the plot played out but it did leave a disconcerting feeling to the overall story. Another issue that did not help matters was its inconsistent tone. The story featured an atmosphere both gritty and rich with humor, and while this was nothing new for the series the imbalance in this direction ended up hurting the story’s presentation. I think the plot of The Predator had plenty going for it but due its delivery it only had a minimal presence which it left this sci-fi tale injured.
The cast to The Predator was certainly a conflicting one. On one hand the cast’s direction was fairly standard and left a minimal impact when it came to the overall film; though certain characters such as Quinn and Nevada (Trevor Rhodes) had their moments. However I cannot say that this cast was completely ineffective. In a weird way there was a sense of practicality behind these characters. Take the looney soldiers for example. Normally these would be the kind of characters I would have a hard time tolerating. However there seemed to be a delegate balance in the characters that gave them solid dimensions.When it came to the Predator, or in the case Predators, they provided a decent enough threat while having some character to them. While the cast of this movie may not have been a stand out ensemble they managed to be an effective group and even live up to the standards of their predecessors…well in their own way.
When it came action The Predator had plenty to provide. The action certainly lived up to the brutality of the series-maybe even exceeded it. However if there is one thing that was holding the action back it was camerawork. The nature behind the cinematography made it difficult to enjoy the movie’s action packed sequences as the fast moving shots took away from the movie’s more intense scenes. The music by Henry Jackman was impressive as it replicated the compositions by Alan Silvestri to near perfection.
Is The Predator the revitalization that the series was looking for? To be blunt…no, but the movie is far from what I would define as bad. The movie certainly had its issues, such as its inconsistent tone, but the movie also had its share of merits like its practical characterizations and its entertaining action. Furthermore the movie also featured ideas that could help the series in the long run. So while The Predator may have been a tame entry in the series, its share of entertaining factors and intriguing concepts made this sci-fi action flick (at the very least) an enjoyable one.